Limited 2x MATCH opportunity: Become a or increase your today!
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Kenneth from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment and formula.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Kenneth's treatment was fully funded on July 13, 2016.

Photo of Kenneth post-operation

September 16, 2016

Kenneth received successful malnutrition treatment.

When we met Kenneth, he was about 9 months old, but his malnutrition had prevented him from growing, making him the size of a healthy three month old. In order to stabilize his acute condition, we provided him with a week’s worth of food supplements while our nutritionist evaluated his normal food intake and designed a custom nutrition plan for him to be able to gain weight and grow taller. He is now the size of a healthy 7 month old, meaning he is slowly catching up to a normal height and weight for his age. With continued treatment, we are confident that he will be able to keep up this catch up growth and go on to have a healthy and happy childhood.

“I am thankful that my son is now eating well and gaining weight thanks to the nutrition classes and advice that I get from the nurse,” Kenneth’s mother shared. “This program has been helping my son to have a better diet so he can grow normally.”

When we met Kenneth, he was about 9 months old, but his malnutrition had prevented him from growing, making him the size of a healthy three ...

Read more
July 1, 2016

Nine-month-old Kenneth is far below the healthy height and weight for his age. His parents do not have the resources to buy him the varied and nutritious diet he needs to grow. His diet lacks fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods, leaving his immune system weak. This means that diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illness can be life-threatening if he does not receive treatment. In the long term, he could face stunted neurodevelopment, increased risk of chronic diseases, and subsequent low earning potential as an adult.

Kenneth lives in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala with his family. He is a twin, and his parents have been unable to afford to feed their two children the foods they need. This is because they live on only a couple of dollars a day–his father works as a day-laborer who often doesn’t have work and his mother works at home, taking care of him and his brother.

For $512, Kenneth will receive growth monitoring, micronutrients and food supplementation, which will help him recover from malnutrition–saving his life and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any life-threatening situations with diarrhea and fevers. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.

His parents will also receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Kenneth the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Kenneth the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.

Nine-month-old Kenneth is far below the healthy height and weight for his age. His parents do not have the resources to buy him the varied a...

Read more

Kenneth's Timeline

  • July 1, 2016

    Kenneth was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • July 8, 2016

    Kenneth's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 11, 2016

    Kenneth received treatment at Clinic Panajachel in Guatemala. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • July 13, 2016

    Kenneth's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 16, 2016

    Kenneth's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Children generally face stunted physical growth, delayed mental and motor development, low appetite, and frequent illness. Malnourished children have weakened immune systems that put them at risk of diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illnesses. This treatment treats growth failure in small children usually under 2 years of age. The most common form of growth failure in children in Guatemala is called stunting. This is a form of malnutrition where weight is relatively normal but height is severely reduced.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Stunting has major effects on the developing brain. Stunted children have low IQ and they don’t make major developmental milestones. These effects persist into adulthood, where they impact schooling and economic potential. Furthermore, stunting contributes to the development of serious adult illness like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Children enrolled in our recuperative nutrition program receive about 1-4 months of intensive intervention, depending on the severity of the case. All of this care is delivered in the home in a personalized fashion. Most require a basic laboratory evaluation to look for thyroid disease, anemia, and intestinal infections. Acute infections are rapidly treated with antibiotics. Then a specialized case manager and nutritionist make weekly or every other week educational and health monitoring visits to the home. An assessment of food insecurity is conducted using standardized instruments and food is often provided to help bolster acute recovery. Micronutrient supplementation is provided.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves brains. Appetite and growth and developmental milestones recover, and height begins to rise once again. The immediate outcome is improved overall child health, including reduced vulnerability to severe infections. The long term outlook is improved cognitive potential, school completion, and economic prospects. Nearly 100% of children will experience improve appetite, energy, and development. At least 75% of children will have noticeable improvement in growth parameters. The effects of the intervention extend to other children in the home; since the approach is highly educational, parents learn how to care for other children and prevent this from occurring subsequently.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, and no risks for treatment exists.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Treatment for malnutrition is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. Populations are rural and don’t have access to intensive nutritional intervention and education. Public sector approaches are too low intensity to make a difference for these children.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives to our program. Many organizations and governmental entities provide basic preventative care, but once a child is already malnourished these approaches are no longer effective. Most children fail prevention and therefore need our help.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.